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Chinese Aim to Build the Next Silicon Valley


China coastal city Dalian

AFP / Getty Images

Many of the cool tools consumers crave, such as iPads, smart phones and laptops, were dreamed up in the United States. But when it came time to turn the inventors' ideas into real products, the manufacturing work was sent to China.

Now China's leaders are pushing for a big change: They want their country's entrepreneurs to become innovators, too. The goal is to move away from mere manufacturing and on to the development of patented products and global brands."

The local companies, they are climbing up the value chain," Dalian Software Park Vice President Michael Ye said. "They will become more like self-innovation companies."

Since the 1980s, China has surged ahead as a manufacturing powerhouse, but lagged behind in the development of original software and high-tech products. Today, the country stands as the world's largest exporter, but still has no compelling global brand names, such as IBM, Dell, Microsoft or Apple.

From National Public Radio
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